What is a wedding coordinator?
A wedding coordinator is a couple's best friend on their wedding day. They're responsible for making sure the wedding day is executed perfectly and according to plan. They focus on everything from making sure everyone is seated and ready for the ceremony, to overcoming any last-minute challenges that arise. Put simply: They're the on-site authority making sure that everything goes off without a hitch so the bride and groom can enjoy their day.
Some of my responsibilities are, but are not limited to: leading the rehearsal, checking and rechecking the floor plan to make sure it's set up correctly, setting up/styling the venue, ceremony draping, adding any extra décor elements that you planned, making sure vendors are on time and prepared, lining every one up for the ceremony and directing each couple when to walk, giving music queues, bustling brides gown, facilitating the formalities of the event, packing up all of your decorations/cards/gifts.... and the list goes on! We do all of this while making sure the day goes accordingly and taking care of any issues without bothering the bride or groom. We become the point person on the wedding day for vendors, bartenders, servers, and other staff.
One of the biggest myths about a wedding coordinator is that "you don't need one". This isn't necessarily true and can be a great investment on your big day and save you money. Someone like me could also come in handy for even non-traditional venues like vineyards, barns, or private homes that don't have traditional wedding staff. This also means you don't have to assign family or friends to help out the day of, they should enjoy the day too, right?
What is the difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner?
Wedding planners generally bring the bride and groom's big day vision to life and develops the entire wedding day process from start to finish. For instance, as a planner, I meet with the bride and groom face to face at least 4 times and stay in touch via email and phone throughout the planning process, and create their wedding profile that has every single detail you can think of in this 10-page profile. While a planner creates and plans, the wedding coordinator executes the wedding from start to finish- every wedding I can expect to work a 12-13 hour day with little to no sitting time.
Why should you hire a wedding coordinator?
We handle the unexpected.
Coordinators are great at handling situations that can be cringe-worthy or out of anyone's control. We're extremely versed in making sure that each issue is handled discreetly and most importantly, quickly- so that couples aren't even aware of it. For instance, if there are crashers, I ask them to leave. If the father of the bride is missing before the father-daughter dance, I will find him. If the shuttle bus is running late with guests before the ceremony, I stall. And so on.
We help conduct the wedding rehearsal.
I make sure everyone is on the same page and knows where they need to be, where they need to stand, and when they need to do certain things. I let the wedding party and family members know what is happening and its exact order.
We stick to the vision.
It's my job to make sure that the couple receives exactly what they want and paid for. This includes making sure all decorations are in line with their profile that was made by them and the planner along with making sure the aesthetic is correct.
We make sure the wedding stays on track.
One of the most important jobs in this field is to parse through the details and the timing of each of these details. We make sure there's enough time for every portion and that all vendors, bartenders, cooks, servers, wedding party members, and family members are informed of the schedule- and modify it if need be.
At the end of the day, being a wedding coordinator is hard work. It's not all roses, gowns, and confetti. Great wedding coordinators are solution-focused, skilled negotiators, and meticulous in their work. I spend 10-15 hours on my feet on a wedding day without breaks, or food, and only drinking water/energy drinks sporadically. It's not all clipboards and fancy headsets (I blame J.Lo in the movie Wedding Planner for this stereotype!) The day after a wedding I have what I call the 'next day wedding hangover', where your body aches, your head feels muzzy and you're exhausted! However, I love what I do, it's beyond rewarding. I love working with the bride and groom, and their family members and experiencing different traditions and themes all the time.